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5 Simple and Satisfying Shop Storage Solutions

Woodworking Workshop

There is something deeply satisfying about a simple and elegant (and cheap!) solution to an annoying storage problem. There is also something especially gratifying about utilizing normally wasted space, as a number of these racks and holders do. “Working the cube,” a mentor of mine in my youth used to call it; always considering how to optimize every square inch of a workspace, not just the walls and the floors. Here are five great ways to work your cube with some clever shop storage.

Tubular Storage


“Here’s my solution for storing skinny things like wood trim and edge banding. I bought a 12″ dia. by 8′ long cardboard concrete form at a home center for about $14. I slid plywood dividers into the tube and added a few screws to hold the dividers in place. I hung it from the ceiling in my basement with plumber’s strap. Get plumber’s strap at a home center for about $2 for a 10-ft. roll. It took one roll to hang my storage tube.” [From: Popular Woodworking]

Lattice Rack

storageTech_1“Plastic lattice works well in the garage for storing long lengths of miscellaneous pipe, trim, flashing, and conduit. Just cut matching pieces, then screw 2×4 cleats to the ceiling and screw the lattice to the wall studs and cleats. Now you can quickly find those oddball leftovers instead of going to the hardware store and buying yet another piece.” [From: Family Handyman]

Hook-and-Slat-Mounted Drawers and Cabinets

storageTech_4“I’ve struggled with the clutter in my small garage shop for years. Recently my neighbor remodeled his garage using a commercial wall-slat system. That gave me an idea for designing my own system. I used 1/4″ and 3/4″ plywood to create a hook-and-slat system that organizes all my tools, hardware, shop supplies and hand tools. It’s a flexible system that allows me to make changes easily as my shop evolves. I use the same hook-and-slat system to hang things on a roll-around cart or my bench. I even devised handles that double as hooks so I can hang individual drawers on my bench to put fasteners and hardware right where I’m working. Along the way, I added some pull-out vertical dividers with slats mounted on them.” [American Woodworker]

Ceiling Drawers

storageTech_2“Eke out every cubic inch of storage in a basement shop with pivoting boxes that hang between the ceiling joists. When a drawer is down, you have easy access to its contents. Use glue and 1-5/8 in. drywall screws to hold together the boxes, then customize shelving for whatever you want to store. Make the width about 3/8 in. narrower than the cavity it fits in and use double-nutted 3/8 in. x 3-1/2 in. carriage bolts for the two pivot points.

“Two plywood cleats pivot on 3-in. screws to hold each drawer in place in the “tucked” position. The drawers are perfect for anything you only need occasionally. But be careful to keep contents relatively light so you can safely open and close the drawers. It’s definitely not the place to store your anvils.” [From: Family Handyman]

Quick and Easy Clamp Rack

storageTech_5“This simple clamp rack provides easy-access storage for a number of different clamp styles. It only takes about an hour or two to build, and uses common materials, making it a great project for those looking to organize their shop. Check out the photos to see how to hang C-clamps, bar clamps, and Quick-Grips.” [Editor’s Note: You can also use standard bathroom towel rods (about $3 at a home store) for a really quick and easy clamp rack, at least for small/light clamps.] [From: Make:]

9 thoughts on “5 Simple and Satisfying Shop Storage Solutions

  1. Andy III says:

    These tips roundups lately have been so awesome. I have a small garage workshop and am constantly trying to find ways to make it more efficient. So cool

    1. Gareth Branwyn says:

      Thanks, Andy. I’m actually working on a book, for Make: Books, collecting all of the shop tips we’ve shared over the past ten years, in Make: and on, and adding new material from elsewhere. I’m really excited by what I’m putting together.

      1. Andy III says:

        That sounds like a great book!
        I’ve maybe got one…

        Keep a tiny cup of dish soap around your workbench, so you can dip the very end of wood screws in there…makes driving screws way easier. I also keep a piece of bar soap in my portable toolbag for when I can’t bring a cordless drill…or if its died. Makes that task possible, where it might otherwise not be.

      2. Andy III says:

        I thought of another one that an old art teacher taught me…

        When trying to draw or paint a straight line, always look where your hand is going, not where it is right now. Trying to make those minor course corrections will make for a squiggly line. It’s more about the average as you go, and not the current position of your writing/painting instrument.

    2. Wendy Smith says:

      WORK AT HOME::Eran$97/HOUR…I just purchased themselves a McLaren F1 when I got my check for $19993 this past 4 weeks and just over 17 thousand lass month . this is really the nicest-work Ive had . I began this 10-months ago and straight away started making more than $97… p/h .learn the facts here now .
      ➤➤➤➤ http://GoogleCyberTechHomeJobsEmploymentDaily/get/chance/top…. ✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱✱

  2. Nathan Guice says:

    I love the sonotube idea, unfortunately we’ve got a above average brown recluse population, so i’d be scared of pulling things out of it if it’s mounted over my head.

    1. agshare says:

      think I’d be calling an EXTERMINATOR! even ONE of them is to many!

      1. Nathan Guice says:

        unfortunately, exterminators can’t do a whole lot for BRs, usually it’s just sticky traps, which you can buy yourself or tenting a house which costs thousands.
        BRs are not like most spiders, they walk high rather than dragging their thorax like most spiders, they’re also not as hairy, so they don’t pick up enough of the typical pesticides to do anything, unless you can spray it directly on them. If you try to limit their food supply by killing the other bugs, they thrive even more as they’re scavengers and are happy to eat dead bugs as much as live.
        Proper discipline (keeping clothes off the floor, not letting papers and cardboard pile up, etc) and a routing of shaking things out and checking your bed along with a good supply of sticky traps are usually your best bet. Thankfully the horror stories you hear about BR bites comes from less than 10% of bites, so…. at least the odds are in your favor.

        1. Nigel Tolley says:

          I think I’d line the place with plastic sheets, or move country! Eek.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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